Sunday was a miserably wet day but we had received our burning off permit and did not want to put if off for when the weather became too warm. This time we got the fires going easily, burying firelighters in the piles of blackberry stalks out of the wind. The piles lit easily, burning furiously for an hour or so each before dying out around the edges, unable to catch hold of the wet long grass. The piles are all gone, leaving flat circles of barren ash.
The grass is thigh high and we have asked Sean to slash it this year. Because it has been so wet and quite cold we expect the fire season to be delayed and extend well in Autumn next year. The cold has delayed the growth of the veggies I had prematurely planted, and a late frost killed the cucumber. I’ve had to replant zucchinis, cucumber, and in place of some of the beetroot that has not emerged, have planted more tomatoes, of which again I have too many. Potatoes are starting to spring up again in the 1st patch, amongst the herbs, but I think I will just leave it all to sort it self out. Corn has just started to sprout, as has the fennel. Survival of the fittest wins this year.
The fruit trees and ornamentals have all flourished so far, having being well fed and mulched. However, the nectarine has developed leaf curl, probably because of the damp conditions. I will need to start a regime of fortnightly spraying with seaweed fertiliser and removing the affected leaves. The dwarf varieties of apple and pear may have to be relocated because I really need larger trees along the eastern boundary. I would like to replace them (3) with full height varieties, and move the dwarf trees somewhere – I can’t think where just yet. Everything looks so lush and green at present, but incredibly overgrown.
In the shed garden bed Elsa and I have thrown sunflowers, poppies and cosmos, hoping they will come up in a messy burst of colour. We watch and wait.
Back up at the northern boundary we have tidied up under the cedar, clearing huge logs, creating some informal seating, and taking out some star pickets holding up a tangled mess of wire fencing. Once some new vegetation takes over the blackberry infested earth it will be a great place to take shelter from the sun and rest from the hard physical days we spend at the Bloch. The views are gentle, and it’s quiet and almost private up there.